Nasal Controller Lets the Paralyzed Operate Machinery by Sniffing

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The Sniff controller opens options for those with few to choose from

Israeli researchers have developed an interface that can be controlled by breathing through the nose. This technology could be used to help people with limited mobility gain more independence:

The “sniff controller,” as it is known, is worn externally via a rubber tube not unlike the ones often used in hospitals for patients who need oxygen. The nasal device is not universal, as about a quarter of all people in a healthy control group were found to have insufficient volitional control over their soft palate, the part of your nasal passageway that lets you regulate the strength of your sniffs. But for those with sufficient soft palate control, the sniff controller gave test subjects a new degree of freedom.[…]

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Robotic System That Will Operate On A Beating Heart

Robotic System That Will Operate On A Beating Heart 

This device lets surgeons attach small anchors to tissue inside a beating heart by compensating for the heart’s movement. 

Fixing the heart is hard. Certain procedures have to be performed on a stationary organ, so the heart is stopped and the patient put on a cardiopulmonary bypass machine. But stopping the heart increases the risk of brain damage. Now researchers at Harvard University and Children’s Hospital Boston are testing a robotic system that could help surgeons perform a common valve repair while the heart beats on. The system uses 3-D ultrasound images to predict and compensate for the motion of the heart so that the surgeon can work on a patient’s mitral valve as it moves.

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